B., S. “Mormonism.” Morning Star (Limerick, Maine) 7, no. 34 (21 December 1832): 134.
We believe that something from another hand has already appeared in our paper, giving some account of the Mormonites. As two preachers, as they call themselves, of that sect have recently made their appearance in a neighboring town, we feel obligated to the public to make some further remarks in relation to the character of their public communications, and the avowed object of their mission.
We have recently visited the place where two of those preachers (a Mr. Smith, who states that he is a brother to Joseph Smith by whom the plates were found from which the “Mormon Bible” or “Book of Mormon” was translated, and a Mr. Hyde, who is represented as a fluent man) a few weeks since labored to establish their doctrines and obtain proselytes to their system, these being the primary objects of their mission. Our readers will conceive something of their views and manner of their addresses, when we inform them that the Mormonites are abundantly the most successful in those places where the notorious Jacob Cochrane had the greatest prosperity. We conclude that the spirit which actuates the Mormonites is akin to that which moved upon Cochrane, although some difference is discernible in the general method of their operations.
The preachers to whom we refer recently visited a neighborhood in an adjacent town, and put up on Saturday evening with the man who furnished us with an account of their proceedings, and of some of the leading views which they labored to maintain in his family and among his neighbors, in whom we can place the utmost confidence. These preachers were accompanied to this place, and introduced by a man who was much devoted to the cause of Cochranism, during the prevalence of that delusion—he had been re-baptized, as they termed it, by Cochrane, and again put into the water by one of these Mormonites, who, like their predecessor already named, teaches that the former baptism of Christians is void, because not administered in accordance to the Divine mind. The Mormonites strenuously urge upon all the importance of being baptized in the proper manner, maintaining that the only qualification is a sound faith in the principles of Mormonism. Children eight years old, and upwards, on professing this faith, are admitted to baptism, and are thereby prepared for their departure to the New Jerusalem, upon which we will directly bestow a brief notice.
The man with whom these Mormonites put up, as before mentioned, and his neighbors, set an example that is worthy an imitation by the people in every place. These preachers appointed a meeting on Saturday evening, and on Sunday, both forenoon and afternoon. The people in the vicinity attended the first and second meetings, but on Sunday noon they left the place of worship en masse, excepting one old lady—thus tactly vociferating that they had no fellowship with these impostors, as we conceive them to be. Of necessity the meeting was dispensed with, and on Monday morning the preachers left the place, discovering the highest symptoms of despondency.
The principal idea these men inculcated at this place, were the necessity of faith in the “Book of Mormon”—the importance of proper baptism—of coming into the limits of the faith— of preparing, and (being in readiness) of going to the promised land—that is, to Zion, a place which they say has been miraculously discovered in the county of Jackson, and state of Missouri.
In this place, they say, about seven hundred men, women and children had convened about a year ago, when they left that country on the mission they are now performing. In this removal, however, these preachers would not have the people be too much in haste.
They wish them to pursue the proper course—to dispose of their property, realize the money for all they own which is not convenient to be removed, for the purpose of turning the same into the “common stock.” These views, with others of the same nature, were enforced with great zeal, both in public and private. They declared that great happiness and joys abundant would be realized on coming to this faith—and that no substantial happiness can otherwise be enjoyed.
We have seen an account published which states that some persons have been reduced to want and distress by disposing of their property, and putting the avails in this common stock. We are of the opinion that such will be the effect in all cases. Therefore we would say, as did Franklin—“Be careful that you do not to pay too dear for the whistle.” We would say, in the language of the Saviour, “Take heed that no man deceive you;” and also in that of the apostle Paul: “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”